Commissioners

Ian Walton

Public Member, Chair

Dr. Ian Walton has served since 2013. He has 33 years’ teaching experience and is a Faculty Emeritus in Mathematics from Mission College with experience in faculty staff development, basic skills, and educational technology. A former Fulbright Scholar and winner of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Hayward Award, and Excellence in Technology Leadership Award, Dr. Walton holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.S. in Pure Mathematics from University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He is a former President of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. He serves on the Evaluation and Planning Committee, and was a member of the Standards Review Committee during the ACCJC’s recent review of Standards. He has served on 10 evaluation teams, seven of those comprehensive evaluations.

Sonya Christian

Administrative Member, Vice Chair

Dr. Sonya Christian began her service in 2015. She is the President of Bakersfield College. She has served on two comprehensive evaluation teams and chaired a team in 2015. Dr. Christian has extensive experience on the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities as team member and team chair while serving in various leadership roles at Lane Community College in Oregon. Dr. Christian holds a B.S. from the University of Kerala in India; an M.S. from the University of Southern California; and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Mary A.Y. Okada

Mary A.Y. Okada

Administrative Member, PPEC, Secretary/Treasurer

Dr. Mary Okada began her service in 2014. She represents the Pacific Postsecondary Education Council on the Commission. She serves as chairperson of the PPEC, a council of presidents and chancellors of institutions of American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Commonweath of Northern Marianas Islands, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the State of Hawaii that addresses regional and post-secondary education issues. Dr. Okada has been the president at Guam Community College since 2007, and has served on several ACCJC accreditation teams. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Guam, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.

Randy Beach

Academic Member

Mr. John Randy Beach began his service in 2018. He is Professor of English and Education at Southwestern College. He holds an M.A. in English from the University of Charleston, a B.A. in English from the College of Charleston, and a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina.  He has served on three comprehensive evaluation teams since 2015 and has been involved in the creation of Southwestern College’s ISERs since 2009. He served three years as a member of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) Executive Committee and is a past chair of the ASCCC Accreditation and Assessment Committee. He has served as the Academic Senate President and the Institutional Program Review and Student Learning Outcomes Coordinator for Southwestern and is currently the Southwestern Curriculum Committee faculty co-chair.

Dr. Kevin Bontenbal

Kevin Bontenbal

Academic Member

Dr. Kevin Bontenbal began his service in 2015. Dr. Bontenbal is the Instructional Technology Librarian at Cuesta College. He has served on five comprehensive evaluation teams since 2006 and has been involved in accreditation at Cuesta College where he also serves as President of the Academic Senate. Dr. Bontenbal holds two B.A. degrees in Philosophy and in Religious Studies from California State University, Chico; a Master of Library Science from Syracuse University; a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Santa Barbara; and a Certificate in Online Teaching from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Danika Bowen

Administrative Member, Independent Institutions

Dr. Danika Bowen began her service with the Commission in 2017. She holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding University, an MBA from Keller University, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Dr. Bowen serves as the Vice President of Accreditation and Professional Regulation for Carrington College. She previously served as Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs of Carrington College for eight years. Throughout her tenure at Carrington College, Dr. Bowen has served as the Accreditation Liaison Officer and provided oversight for all programmatic and institutional accreditation visits. Dr. Bowen has experience in institutional planning, fiscal oversight, educational policies and practices, ISER creation, curriculum and instruction, participatory governance and faculty development. She has served on a total of seven comprehensive evaluations and follow-up teams and as a member.

Kathleen F. Burke

Administrative Member

Dr. Kathleen Burke began her service in 2019. She has served as Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District since July 2018. As Chancellor, Dr. Burke acts as the chief executive officer overseeing district-wide operations, including a $900 million budget and nearly 4,000 employees from the district office and two community colleges: Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College. She has chaired three comprehensive site visiting teams and served as a team member on seven additional visiting teams.  Dr. Burke has over 38 years of experience in the California Community College System, including service as college president, vice president, and academic dean for 17 years in the Los Angeles Community College District, and as a faculty member for over 20 years at Glendale Community College. Dr. Burke holds a Doctorate of Education in Institutional Management from Pepperdine University; a Master of Arts in Art, from California State University, Northridge; a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine; and, an Associate of Arts in Humanities from Glendale Community College.

Michael Claire

Administrative Member

Mr. Michael Claire began his service in 2019. He holds an MBA and a B.S. in Business Administration, both from California State University, East Bay. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.  Mr. Claire has worked at College of San Mateo for his entire 30 year career. He currently serves as the President of College of San Mateo, a position he has held since 2006.  Mr. Claire has also served as Vice President of Instruction and as Dean of the Technology Division at College of San Mateo.  Mr. Claire started his career as a faculty member, teaching accounting, business, and computer application courses. Mr. Claire has experience in strategic planning, fiscal management, educational master planning and facilities planning.  He has served on a seven accreditation reaffirmation visits, chairing five of those visits. He has also served on a number of follow-up visits

Dr. Ned Doffoney

Ned Doffoney

Public Member

Dr. Ned Doffoney has served since 2016. He holds an Ed.D. in Institutional Management from Pepperdine University, an M.S. in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Dr. Doffoney is the Chancellor Emeritus of the North Orange County Community College District, a position he held from 2008 until 2015. He served as the President of Fresno City College for six years, the founding President/Chancellor of South Louisiana Community College for four years, and as the President of Saddleback College for four years. Dr. Doffoney has extensive experience in institutional effectiveness and accountability, college and district-wide facilities planning, budgeting, research, and institutional assessment strategic and master planning. He has served as chair and member of external evaluation teams for the ACCJC and also worked closely with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools while in Louisiana.

Barbara Dunsheath

Academic Member

Dr. Barbara Dunsheath began her service in 2017. She teaches history full time at East Los Angeles College.  As professor of history for the past 20 years she has served as Faculty Chair of Accreditation and on a variety of committees including curriculum, Professional Development, Distance Education, Women/Gender Studies and Learning Assessment.  Dr. Dunsheath has also served as Trustee for the North Orange County Community College District since 2005.  Dr. Dunsheath is also involved in various California State committees including Faculty Association California Community Colleges (FACCC) Communications Committee; California League of Community Colleges; ACES committee and Vision 2020.  She holds a BA in History from Bradley University and a MA in History and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from CSULB.

Erika Lacro

University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges

Dr. Erika Lacro began her service in 2019. As interim vice president for Hawaiʻi’s community colleges, she is responsible for executive leadership, policy decision-making, resource allocation and development of support services for the University of Hawaiʻi’s seven community colleges. A key focus of her work is to further support the community college student success agenda. Lacro served as Honolulu Community College chancellor from July 2012 and is the first woman to hold the chief executive position at that campus. She served as vice chancellor of academic affairs at Honolulu CC from 2007 through 2012 and before that held several executive and management positions at the UH Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management, including assistant dean, director of academic advising and director of internship and career development. Before joining UH, she held several management roles at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. At the statewide level, Lacro has led academic affairs initiatives in the Achieving the Dream Initiative, Complete College America and the Reverse Transfer Initiative. She was successful in working to gain funding through EDUCAUSE to upgrade the STAR Academic Journey for the entire UH System and also served as the principal investigator for a UH Community Colleges consortium, a multi-year $24.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants program to develop and support training programs that lead to jobs in the agriculture, energy and health industries. She serves as a commissioner on the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and has chaired several comprehensive accreditation visits for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association. She holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in travel industry management and a PhD in communication and information sciences from UH Mānoa.

Dr. Lori Gaskin

Lori Gaskin

Public Member

Dr. Lori Gaskin began her service in 2016. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, and an M.A. in Geography and a B.A. in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Gaskin retired in August, 2016 as Superintendent/President of Santa Barbara City College after four years. She previously served as the President of West Valley College for three years, and as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services, Acting Superintendent/President, and Dean of Instruction at Lake Tahoe Community College for 17 years. She began her career in higher education as a faculty member at Barstow College. Dr. Gaskin has experience in institutional planning, fiscal oversight, bond oversight, educational policies and practices, participatory governance, and institutional accountability. She has served on a total of six comprehensive evaluation and follow-up teams as chair and as a member.